College Of Arts and Sciences | Literary Classics in Popular Culture
E103 | 0023 | Johnston, I.
Topic: Beauty and the Beast
This course examines twentieth-century popular culture (movie, TV
adaptations, musicals, plays and even comic strip) versions of
literary classics. We will explore these remakes in terms of the
socio-historical context in which the adaptations are made. We will
address the fact that most remakes are movies—ours is a visual
culture and cinema was the invention of our century—and we will ask
ourselves the question "What aesthetic or thematic changes does the
alteration in the medium of expression trigger?" Moreover, many of
the literary "classics" were popular in their time. So we will ask
ourselves "what constitutes a classic?" and "what is popular
culture?" and we will define the relationship between the two. We
will be reading classics by Shakespeare, Victor Hugo, Jane Austen,
Mary Shelley, and Anton Chekhov and we will view famous remakes such
as Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Batman, Kenneth Branagh's
Frankenstein, Nikita Mihalkov's Dark Eyes, and Clueless.
Requirements: students are required to keep a journal; three four-
page papers and a final essay exam. Participation in class
discussion is also a must.